scorecardThese top European energy companies are set to pay for Russian gas in rubles to meet Putin's demands despite EU warnings: report
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These top European energy companies are set to pay for Russian gas in rubles to meet Putin's demands despite EU warnings: report

Phil Rosen   

These top European energy companies are set to pay for Russian gas in rubles to meet Putin's demands despite EU warnings: report
Stock Market1 min read
  • Companies in Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia are set to pay for Russian gas in rubles, sources told the Financial Times.
  • That includes two of the largest importers of Russian gas — Uniper and OMV — according to the FT.

Companies in Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia are set to meet the Kremlin's demand that natural customers register for a new payment mechanism that facilitates ruble payments, the Financial Times reported.

Despite warnings from the European Union that such payments would violate sanctions, distributors in the four EU nations are preparing to register with Gazprombank in Switzerland, sources told the FT, to meet the ruble payment requirement.

Two of the largest importers of Russian gas are said to be participating — Düsseldorf-based Uniper and Vienna-based OMV. And by the end of May, Italy's Eni may sign up for the ruble payments as well, though it is still considering its options, according to the FT.

On Wednesday, Bloomberg reported four European natural gas buyers have already paid Russia in rubles for supplies, though it didn't mention which ones.

Putin threatened last month to cut off gas supplies to nations that did not pay in rubles. On Wednesday, Russia halted shipments to Poland and Bulgaria, triggering a 28% surge in European gas prices. Gazprom said the stoppage occurred because the two nations didn't offer payment in rubles.

For nations complying with the new ruble payment scheme, they must pay Gazprombank in euro-denominated deposits, which the firm would then convert to rubles in a second account opened in their name.

Earlier this week, however, Gazprombank rejected a ruble payment from a trading firm Germany had seized from Moscow.

Despite widespread condemnation of Russia's war on Ukraine, Europe remains heavily dependent on Russian energy.

In April, Ukraine had called for the world's largest energy traders to stop handling Russian oil altogether.

"They are in this cycle of financing war crimes and genocide against Ukrainian citizens," Oleg Ustenko, advisor to Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told the FT.

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